GFM Network News

Winter wheat a money-making crop

High potential yields, good prices and relatively low production costs 
have a growing number of farmers interested in winter wheat

It will be a month or so yet before Manitoba farmers get a peek at the winter wheat crop that lies beneath this winter’s heavily insulated snow blanket. Manitoba farmers seeded an estimated 560,000 acres of winter wheat under less-than-ideal, dry conditions last fall, but at least it’s well insulated with lots of snow. “I

Policy shift needed to tap Africa’s farm potential

Reuters / Africa’s agricultural sector could become a $1-trillion industry by 2030 if governments and the private sector radically rethink policies and support for farmers, a World Bank report said March 4. Africa’s food market, currently valued at $313 billion a year, could triple if farmers modernized their practices and had better access to credit,

Like most American belts, the Corn Belt has expanded too

North Dakota corn acreage has doubled since 2006 and quadrupled since 2001 Reuters / A combination of a long-term warming trend, improved varieties and soaring profits has sparked a “corn boom” in the Northern Plains that might one day turn North and South Dakota into the new Iowa, analysts say. “All you need to do

Wheat farmers in Western Australia face a financing crunch

Bankers want at least eight per cent for operating loans, and are asking for risk-mitigation insurance

Two weeks ago some 350 farmers, politicians and bankers attended a meeting at Kulin in the heart of Western Australia (WA) wheat country. It was organized by the local representatives of the West Australian Farmers Federation and called “Agriculture in Crisis — looking for a brighter future.” There were no surprises and no answers, just

French bank suspends agricultural fund

Reuters / BNP Paribas, France’s No. 1 listed bank, has suspended a 160-million-euro ($214-million) agricultural commodities fund after international aid group Oxfam criticized French banks for speculating on food prices. “We are suspending subscriptions,” a spokeswoman for BNP said of its Parvest World Agriculture fund, explaining the move as part of the bank’s policy on

FCC accused of overstepping its mandate

A new report by a leading public policy think-tank accuses Farm Credit Canada and other federal financial Crown corporations of “mission creep” by offering services far beyond their original mandates. The report by the C.D. Howe Institute recommends their authority “should be clearly circumscribed and even rolled back” so private lenders can do more to

Recipe Swap: Operation Donation

If you’re a Farmers’ Almanac reader, you’ll have heard of the ‘Wolf moon’ of January and February’s ‘Hunger moon.’ Aboriginal people gave these names to the months of winter because there wasn’t much food around. The heavy snow of February made hunting very difficult. A different sort of ‘hunger moon’ hangs over those with empty

2013 not a good year to be sports party host

Reuters / Calendars tend to get crammed around this time of year with parties for various televised sporting events that invariably involve classic and nutritious American staples such as chicken wings, chili and potato chips — washed down by a beer or two. But this year, stocking a house full of such goodies could break

U.S. Plains farmland prices set record but gains slow

Reuters / Average farmland prices in the U.S. Plains states jumped as much as 25 per cent in the third quarter, setting new highs as demand remained strong, according to the Kansas City Federal Reserve. But the rate of gains slowed down from the torrid pace of the past two years. “Drought conditions had little

U.S. Thanksgiving turkey dinner to be easy on the wallet

Reuters / Americans will be able to enjoy relatively cheap Thanksgiving turkeys this year, thanks to many retailers locking in their costs before a drought this year drove up U.S. feed prices. And retailers are determined to keep prices for the traditional Thanksgiving main course as low as possible, even though sky-high corn prices have